I picked up a flat tire on the way to Newberry College a few days ago. In the dark. On the Interstate. It began with a funny little sound coming from the back of the car, along with a little vibration. Of course, I assumed nothing was wrong. Prayed nothing was wrong. I did not like the idea of being stranded on the Interstate in the pre-dawn darkness. There be monsters about at that time of the night. So I ignored it. With regard to my health, I have always ignored little signals of malfunctions in my physiognomy and the problems always disappeared, unless there was breakage. And sometimes even then. The funny little sound grew louder.
Pretty soon it was really, really hard to ignore the deafening "whop-whop-whop" sound of my right rear tire disintegrating and the colorful array of warning lights all over my dash. I slowed down a bit. It got louder until I couldn't hear myself ignoring it. Fortunately, an exit was looming up so I was able to ease off the Interstate and onto a two-lane blacktop that led into a small town where we used to live. But it was still a few miles to civilization. So I nursed the car on three good tires and a sturdy rim to a parking lot on the outskirts of town.
I opened the truck and noticed that I had one of those dinky little spare tires, which was good. What I didn't have was a jack. I have no idea where it was, but for sure it wasn't in the trunk of my car. So I walked a few short miles in the cold dark and into town, believing nothing would be open for a couple of hours, but I did find a repair shop that was open, but that did not do tires. The man there gave me tow numbers to call for help, so I thanked him and walked back to my crippled transportation and called the first number, found a nice lady on the phone, and gave her my tire size and location.
An hour later I was back on the road and only $167 poorer. I plan to find that jack when I get around to it. Might come in handy someday, but I rarely get flat tires, so I might just ignore it.